IKEA Hack: DIY Closet Island


I have wanted a center island for my closet since, like, FOREVER! When I moved into my Hollywood Hills house I had a room devoted to my wardrobe and what that bad boy really needed was a center island. I had a custom closet company come by to do an estimate the most basic looking one was well over $2000. Yeah no. In hindsight it was actually good that I didn’t get something custom made because I later had to turn my closet into an office.


Now I have moved out of that house and into my own little 2-bedroom bachelorette pad. I turned the second bedroom into a closet and it’s staying that way! My handyman installed some cool custom shelving for shoes, custom racks for clothes, more shelves for bags, and custom rolling racks for more clothes. You know what the closet is still missing? A damn center island!!


I already knew that the custom route was a no-go, so I looked at my other options. Home Depot does custom work but that was pricey too. My handyman knew a guy but then you have to figure in parts and labor. So I took to the internet to find a cheaper solution. Enter this lovely blog post about an IKEA hack that will give you a closet island for around $300. Done and done.


So last night I went to IKEA and bought up my supplies. With a little Lauren-style decorating, this island would be the greatest thing my closet had ever seen. Hopefully. I do have some pretty terrible IKEA related memories and I’d being doing this ALL by myself, so …

What I Bought

  • IKEA 2 x2 Expedit Shelving Cubes in High Gloss White (3)
  • IKEA Silver Legs (6 packs of 2)
  • IKEA Expedit Drawer Inserts in High Gloss White (2)
  • IKEA Knobs 2-pack (2)
  • Marble slab (50″ x 35″) *coming soon*

What I Used to Decorate

  • Cute tray
  • Stylish books
  • Flowers
  • Scented candle
  • Jewelry busts

How to Do It

1.) Build the shelves. They are shockingly easy, especially for IKEA but if you are easily frustrated bribe a friend with pizza or hire someone to do it for you.

2.) Drill in the legs. This part is trickier because the shelves don’t have pre-made holes for the screws. Definitely use a power drill or a handy friend.

3.) Arrange the shelves. I took the advice of the DIY blogger and I didn’t bond the shelves together. They are all just sitting there nicely in case I ever want to use them somewhere else in the  house.

4.) Add a topper. Ok so I wanted to add a topper to my island right away but when I found out the price?! Yeah no. A piece of marble (how good would that look) will cost me $1400! I decided to downgrade to granite, $850! Alright, lets downgrade to fake-ass marble … $550. So basically I am leaving the top alone until I can score a great deal. It will happen. Mark my words.

5.) Decorate. This is really what takes this from a piece of crap from IKEA to a stylish closet island. Stacked books, jewelry boxes, a tray, fresh flowers, jewelry busts, candles … all of these little things take the island to the next level.

Okay maybe I shouldn’t have put the extra beautiful inspiration pics up before I posted my pics but here they are.

center island for closetDIY Closet Island DIY CLOSET ISLANDDIY CLOSET ISLANDlauren messiah closet

lauren messiah closet

I am actually quite happy with how the island turned out. A good temporary fix until I have the funds to build my REAL dream closet. The next phase of the room is to get a fancy-pants chandelier and some more shelving on the walls. God I love my closet.

Want to make more space in your closet? Watch this video:


19 thoughts on “IKEA Hack: DIY Closet Island”

  1. The Torsby tabletop from IKEA in high gloss white is perfect with this set-up, my husband and I just did this DIY this weekend.

  2. Looks great Lauren! Thanks for sharing! I love ikea… Gonna have to try the island look, great idea!!!

  3. Is it possible that I could upload a picture of my dressing room for a bit of your advice? I have four rolling racks and about 100 clear, plastic shoe containers from the container store. I just need a little insight from a professional on how to situate everything. The room does have a small closet and I would like to get some options on how to utilize it. I purchased an Ikea chandelier but I think I’m gonna need a few recessed light because I don’t think it’s going to give off enough lighting. I will definitely be adding an island and a nice rug. Hope to hear from you! Best, Sheila

  4. Hello! I think this is absolutely beautiful!! Did you have any issues with any of the drawers or shelves tipping over? Thanks for your help!!

  5. Nice post. I used to be checking continuously this blog and I’m inspired! Very helpful info specially the ultimate part 🙂 I deal with such info a lot. I was seeking this certain information for a very long time. Thank you and good luck.

  6. This has been so helpful. I’m ordering these pieces to complete the design for my dressing room. We spent a toN on a custom rack and shelving system in the room. The shelving and racks are beige glossy lacquer, and they slide closed. They run down the sides of each wall, galley style, and something was missing for the center of the room. I’m trying to be a good steward of our money by not asking hubby to pay for an expensive island. There also is a small white glossy table in the room with a beautiful mirror, and this island will be perfect, with the Torsby top that someone else described above. I’m so excited! As soon as one of the pieces is in stock (est. for a week from now). I’m ordering!

  7. Thank you SO much for this hack. I had already invested a lot in building a dressing room, and didn’t have the nerve to ask my husband for more to build an island. So I searched and came upon your hack. It was perfect and inexpensive. It looks so good in the room. I opted not to use legs, and the island is the perfect size to fold clothes or lay out an outfit for the evening. I’m still organizing, but already this island has been useful, and pretty. I added a few crystal lights to the top which help to illuminate the space. Also, another person suggested the Torsby Tabletop from Ikea. I bought that too ($119) and it’s perfect, with a glossy, clean look. We thought about permanently affixing the top, but decided not to in case we ever want to change the layout. If you want to see a photo, go here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1XUHHqPrNVmvMeJwZwpsFCRM0w2-MjX7p/view?usp=sharing.

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